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Elance / Unauthorized charges

United States Review updated:
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I wish I had seen all the reports on here and on all these other websites talking about the Elance escrow scam.

Figure I might as well warn people with my example. I see people have posted reports on here already. My story is pretty much the same.

I put a job out on Elance for workers to bid on. I awarded the job to someone I thought was a good bet. They had good feedback, had 4 of what Elance calls 'verified' credentials, and had good test scores.

Well it was horrible. I notice on one test score they scored top 5% on English Spelling and also on vocabulary. Well, their bid was perfect English. After I gave them the job you could barely understand what they were saying.

I put the $750 project cost into Elance Escrow because it said I would be protected.

The provider was horrible. They couldn't follow the project details or even simple instructions. They drug the whole thing out for like 3 weeks before they finally just said they didn't have the expertise to do it.

So it takes me a week and a half to get ahold of Elance before they tell me I have to download this huge word document and fill it in and upload it to the system. Then the worker is supposed to fill out his portion and upload it.

So I do my part. A few days later the worker does his part and he says the same thing I do in the file - agree to refund the escrow money.

After waiting about a week I start calling Elance wondering where my money is. I called for 4 days straight. One day I think I called 14 or 15 times. They never answer and never return my messages. They finally sent me an automated reply to one of my emails about a week or so after I sent it to them.

I was originally told that if the worker agreed to a refund in his report that I would be refunded immediately.

That was now 41 days ago. The money is still in Elance escrow and I have had to file a report with my credit card company for fraud.

And this is the kicker (why I say they lie). I was able to check on 2 of the references he had that Elance said were VERIFIED. They had never heard of the worker.

I've never had this kind of problem with places like Odesk or rentacoder. Problems with a project every now and then but never the company ignoring emails and stealing escrow money.

Wish I had done some research on Elance and their scam before trying them out.

But if one buyer saves himself from being a victim of the Elance scam then I guess this post is worth it.


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A  14th of Oct, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am a provider on Elance. I was awarded a project by a buyer who apparently has a good track record on Elance. It was an Escrow funded project but even sending two reminders, the buyer did not fund the project. I completed the project, it has been two weeks since then, Elance confirmed the job as being complete since there was no response from the buyer and still I have not been paid. The buyer sent me an email saying he was very happy with my work, said he is using a new credit card and that needs to be authenticated which takes only 3 days, it has been almost a month and till date the project remains unpaid.

Elance states that if a buyer does not fund an escrow project, it is not their responsibility. I don't understand what policies they have for safeguarding the interests of the providers.
D  26th of Jan, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am so sorry that you didn't receive your money but you should never ever start a project until it has been funded. In fact, what I do is request half upfront and released before I even start the project and the remainder within 3 days after final draft is delivered. If it is not granted then I keep all rights to the work and will use it elsewhere. I make all buyers sign a contract agreeing to this before I begin any projects and haven't had any issues whatsoever getting my money. Again I am sorry but maybe you can implement a similar policy in the future as I do think Elance is a great way for buyers and providers to connect and for providers to make money.
N  10th of Aug, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi I'm evaluating Elance and I came across this message board.

I'm just curious to know about the ESCROW system at Elance. Is there a way to identify whether the employer has put the money to the ESCROW account? And how do we request half the money upfront? Does that condition has to be an outcome of a negotiation with the employer?


N  23rd of Jun, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Elance abuses Privacy! I have just been informed by a 3rd party (who fully disclosed he was a 3rd party) that elance released my transaction history!
This 3rd party is not a registered user of elacne, there was no subpoena, no warrant and no request from any law enforcement agency but this 3rd party was able to send several well crated emails to elance inquiring about my account, acting as a 3rd party and was able to get access to my transactional history.

Be warned of elance they do NOT protect your privacy.
They will release your personal data and release your financial records to anyone...

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